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The controversy over whether pets should be allowed in the private rental sector continues apace with one major agency coming down firmly in favour of four legged friends.

Lajla Turner, head of lettings for a London branch of agency Carter Jonas says: “Be open to pets if the head lease will allow. Tenants with pets are more likely to be long term and treat your property like a home.”

The same agency’s head of lettings in Winchester, Zaza Oswald, adds: “If a landlord does not allow pets (cats and dogs mainly) then they cut out at least half of applicants.  We would always check that dogs are not left alone for hours at a time during the day, when someone is at work, and we can even have written into contracts that a dog walker must be employed if tenants do work away.”

In recent months there has been growing discussion over whether pets should routinely be allowed in private rental flats and houses.

The government’s new model tenancy agreement makes it a default condition that landlords should allow pets so long as they are owned responsibly and well-behaved; the new agreement is not compulsory and is not thought to be widely used.

Carter Jonas’s comments come in a market update for landlords, which says that limited stock and lower than usual landlord registrations could see rents increase dramatically.

“Whilst stock with gardens is flying, properties without a garden or access to outside space is taking longer to let. However, Carter Jonas believes the return to the office and increase in demand for low maintenance ‘Pied a Terre’s’ will see stock moving more quickly and for more competitive rates as the year ends” says the firm, which specialises in high end lets.